All you need to know about registering to vote

Voters across Scotland will go to the polls on Thursday 5 May 2022 to elect their councillors.

Across Scotland’s 32 local authorities, the councillors you elect will make decisions over the provision of public services, local infrastructure, and set the direction of your local area.

Every vote will count – and it’s absolutely vital that you’re registered to vote.

Here’s a handy guide.

Who can vote in these elections?

You must be 14 or over to register, and you can vote if you’re 16 or over on 5 May 2022.

You must live at an address in Scotland, and you must also be one of the following:

  • a UK national
  • an Irish or EU national
  • any other foreign national with leave to remain in the UK, including refugees

How do I register to vote?

The deadline to register to vote for this election is Monday 18 April 2022.

Make sure you’re registered so you don’t lose your voice – click here to check and to register to vote. It only takes around 5 minutes.

You normally only need to register once – not for every election. You’ll need to register again if you’ve changed your name, address or nationality.

Can I register to vote using a paper form?

Registering to vote online is the easiest and quickest way, but you can also register using a paper form.

You’ll need to print, fill out and send the form to your local Electoral Registration Office.

Remember, you have to do that by Monday 18 April.

How can I vote by post?

Once you’ve registered to vote, you can also register for a postal vote.

We’ve created a handy tool on our website which lets you easily apply for a postal vote – just click here to apply.

You just have to fill out your name, postcode, and select your address from the dropdown menu.

Then, click ‘Get Application Form’ and print off and complete the form provided.

Once you’ve filled out your form, simply post it to your local Electoral Registration Office. You have to do it by Tuesday 19 April.

However you do it, make sure you vote

There’s a lot at stake in these local elections.

Your vote will help shape the political direction of the area you live in, and gives you the power to elect a local champion who will stand up for you on the council.

Here’s just some of the things that the SNP has delivered across Scotland:

  • Record high health funding
  • Free personal and nursing care for all who need it
  • The Baby Box
  • Expanded free childcare to 1,140 hours
  • The Scottish Child Payment
  • Free bus travel for under 22s

By voting SNP on May 5, you’re voting for stronger public services, a fairer recovery and to keep delivering progress for every community.

How does the voting system work?

In the local elections, we use a system called STV – Single Transferable Vote.

Unlike in other elections, you won’t be putting a cross in the box of your favourite candidate – but instead, ranking them in the order of your preference.

Your council ward will be electing either 3 or 4 councillors, depending on the size of the ward.

So, if there’s two SNP candidates in your ward, you can vote SNP 1 and 2. And if there’s three, make it SNP 1, 2, 3.

Tell 5 friends and family to register to vote now

At this election, make sure your voice is heard loud and clear.

Make sure you’re registered to vote by 18 April — and ask your friends and family to do the same.

Registering only takes 5 minutes – so if you have time, why not do it now and get it out of the way?

Click here to register, and once you’ve done that, you can register for a postal vote here.